Opinion: Since Microsoft can't get the bugs out of Vista, why not turn the code over to the people who've shown they can fix intractable software: the open-source community.
Although Microsoft may claim otherwise, Vista, from both from a technical and business point of view, is proving to be a failure. Why not turn it over to people who have shown time after time that they can deliver the goods?
Lets look at the facts, shall we?
Microsoft claimed that more than 20 million copies of Windows Vista were sold around the world in February 2007, its first full month of sales. I, and many others, dont believe those claims for a minute. Whats a lot more important than what I think though is what Goldman Sachs, the international investment bank, thinks. And, Goldman Sachs thinks that Microsoft is no longer worthy of being on its must buy "conviction list."
Why? Goldman analyst Sarah Friar in a research note wrote, "Product upgrade cycles should provide strong revenue and profit growth in the next 12-plus months. Normally, this would make us view the stock as a must-own. At the same time, these launches may also mark the end of an era, as changing technology and business models seek to diminish Microsofts hold on the desktop, which in turn significantly depletes the cash cow."
Besides, maybe Vista wont do that well anyway. "Investor nervousness remains high, particularly given uncertainty regarding spending plans in 2008 and recent negative management comments on Vista." Negative management comments? Why yes, Microsofts own CEO Steve Ballmer warned analysts that "some of the Windows revenue forecasts Ive seen are overly aggressive."
Looking ahead, Goldman also sees, "Changing technology and business models in areas such as software-as-a-service, virtualization and open source seek to diminish Microsofts stranglehold on the desktop, which in turn significantly depletes the companys cash cow."
Read the full story on Linux-Watch.com: Dear Mr. Gates: Save Vista, Open-Source It
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is editor at large for Ziff Davis Enterprise. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, Vaughan-Nichols worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects. Since then, he's focused on covering the technology and business issues that make a real difference to the people in the industry.